Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

February Newsletter

Puppy Biting and Chewing

This month's newsletter was written by dog trainer Lucy Kerby. See more about Lucy and her puppy traning classes under the "Services" tab on this website.

Puppy teeth are much sharper than adult dog teeth. Much like tiny razors, they are intended to give the puppy some protection in case of danger. When puppies are learning manners, itís important to teach them to not use their teeth on people. One of the things we need to remember is to not unintentionally reward bad behavior. When puppy is begging to play Ďtug of warí games and wrestling and play biting, redirect the play into retrieve games or interest them into chewing on their toys. If we play tug of war with our puppies at this impressionable age, we are encouraging them to bite, to growl and to win. Instead, using a firm tone of voice, we let them know that biting is not acceptable. Redirect the play into a game of fetch the ball or toy and teach a command to drop the toy or release it into your hand. For puppies that arenít natural retrievers, sometimes having two toys helps; one to toss for puppy to retrieve, and the second one to catch their attention and encourage them to return to you.

At about four months of age, puppies begin to teeth. Adult teeth replacing those razor sharp baby teeth. During this time puppies may sometimes act cranky or more aggressively. If they are chewing on furniture or people items, give them a chew toy instead. Rawhides made in the USA are ok if used sparingly. Get a large enough chewy that the puppy isnít just eating chunks of these every day. Other good chew toys are anything thatís about indestructible. Kong Toys rank among the highest in this category. You can rub peanut butter or Kong paste on the inside of the Kong Toy, stuffing a couple dog biscuits inside to entice the pup to chew on this toy. This will give the pup chewing therapy that is safe for you and your personal belongings.